A winner at the 2011 Shitsurai Art International Competition, Crater Lake is an environmental installation that serves as a meeting place to visit with friends, contemplate the surroundings, or simply sit for a moment. The design was inspired by the social revitalization of the city of Kobe, Japan after the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake of 1995.
Multiple ideas and materials were tested to realize the complexity of the smooth and undulating form. Wood was chosen for its strong structural capacity, easiness to work with, and natural qualities. One of the main issues was the expression of the continuous and smooth surface without using costly techniques of wood steaming, bending or digital fabrication. The solution was to divide the circular surface into a number of radial parts, with the optimal number of 20 parts. Factors that determined this optimal number were, overall surface expression, production schedule, and transportation method (vehicle bedsize). These 20 radial parts were preassembled off-site and transported by a vehicle to the main site of Shiosai Park.
Standard wood and off-the-shelf hardware were used in construction to avoid any costly customized fabrication process. 2×4 studs were used for all structural members and 30×60 mm treated cedar wood was used for the surface. The structure of radial parts consists of a series of free-form ribs composed in segments with horizontal support and cross bracing for rigidity. Each radial segment has 64 surface planks that are attached to three structural ribs that are rigidly connected between each other with horizontal supports. The surfaces with the most anticipated traffic flow have narrow spacing between each plank. As the mount becomes higher, the spacing distance of surface planks increases, allowing users to climb the mount. The rising mount resulted from understanding the site and seasonal conditions, functioning as a sun shading and wind protection from the bay winds when sitting in the inner area.
Designer: 24° Studio